Friday, 6 July 2012

Zucchini 'Pasta' with Asparagus and Lemon-Pepper Tofu

SmartCooks here.  

I promised lighter fare, both in terms of calories and in volume of food and Zucchini 'Pasta' with Asparagus and Lemon-Pepper Tofu fits the bill.  It's part of the hot, hot, hot summer regime and a focus on healthier, nutritionally balanced choices.  Frankly, it's also just a matter of taste preference.  

It may come as a surprise to many of you that I read (and have for some time) a magazine (on-line version) called Oxygen, Women's Fitness magazine.  It's an odd little magazine -- a mix of sound nutritional advice, training tips, clean eating demos and fat-loss advice mixed with the irritating and alienating ads for nutritional supplements that guarantee ripped  muscles and a bodybuilding physique (not).  

Nonetheless, it has some intriguing,  innovative and 'clean living' recipes.  They do a lot of 'slimmed down' popular recipes.  When you eat one, you feel full but not overly so.  The not too full feeling comes from pasta made from strands of zucchini, and mixed with lemons, ginger and tofu.  It's a low-cal, clean eating, nutritious way of doing a pasta-not-from pasta dish and I tend to make versions of it a lot.  

Peeling zucchini or carrots is so much simpler with a good vegetable peeler.  I bought one from a university kid selling Cutco door to door about 10 years ago.  It sees heavy duty service, almost daily, has never been sharpened but it has never let me down.  

This recipe is really lemon-y (which is great for me) but if too much for you cut out one lemon.  Tempeh could be substituted for tofu.  Other vegetables (like peppers and carrots) could be added to give it even more good flavour.  I adapted the Oxygen recipe to add a few more flavours, like asparagus, without adding empty calories.  Vegan Recipe Review posted the picture.  

Zucchini Pasta with Asparagus and Lemon-Pepper Tofu
(Serves 1 or 2) 

3 lemons
3 oz extra-firm tofu
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 zucchinis, green or yellow 
4 spears of fresh asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 T canola oil
8 mint leaves


Zest one lemon; set aside. Cut and squeeze the juice out of the other two lemons into a bowl.

Drain excess water from tofu. Cut into four thick pieces. Place on a plate and pour half of the lemon juice to marinate. Sprinkle with black pepper.asparagus

Peel zucchini with a veggie peeler until you get to the seeds. 

Add half of the oil into a pan and cook tofu steaks for 3 minutes per side. Remove tofu. 

Add oil, zucchini and to pan; cook for one minute. Add lemon juice; cover pan to steam for two minutes. Add mint and zest. 

Transfer to a plate and enjoy! 

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